– Cue Music Carl Orff – Carmina Burana (my favorite battle music of many movies including my personal favorite Excalibur).  My thanks to Michel Morane for suggesting I explain this in my blog.

Battle in the streets of Lost Angels
Battle in the streets of Lost Angels

Everyone likes to win.  Victory is savored by all while defeat is desired by none.  What do you do when you are defeated and it is the other player’s turn to celebrate victory at your expense?  Just as victory can be played with much satisfactions, a defeat that is well planned and executed will result in some magnificent role play.  Even a torture scene can be fun for all the players involved.  It takes some imagination and some OOC (Out of Character) contact in IMs (Instant Messaging) to work out what will be done and how it will be executed so that you, the victim, are given the opportunity to do your part.

Defeat is not all about being incapacitated and left for dead.  Some role players, depending on their character’s behavior, could decide to bind you, drag you, capture you, incarcerate you, etc.  Never forget that role play is a game we play to enjoy ourselves.  That is why a simple IM to discuss what will be done is good practice so you can come to agreements and so that the role play will move smoothly.  The last thing you want is to have the players annoyed at the fact that you decide you don’t want to play defeat and that you want to end it there.  Whomever defeats you will decide your fate, however coordination between all parties ensures that everyone is fine with the ensuing punishment.

Those of you with a ‘laundry list’ of role play limits will balk at me about what I’ve just said, but the truth is that putting a time limit on captures is completely ridiculous.  All role play takes time.  You can’t go into it with time limits on something that needs to worked out correctly between parties.  It takes time to execute the capture and whatever torture session will take place.  Then, if someone is going to attempt a rescue or a trade, that will take time.  I’m not saying it will take 4 hours to do but time needs to be given to all parties to do their part.  You may be able to barely make it by on a 30 minute run if it’s just you and one other person in the scene but, with more participants, more time is needed to coordinate.  In summary, putting a time limit on a capture will ruin the scene by making everyone rush on something that could be played out better without the time limitation.

As a small example, I will explain a scene I was a part of where we captured an escaped slave and tortured them for their actions:

Our slave BB had aided a friend of her’s in torturing and injuring one of our fellow demons “KP” by pushing her into an electric fence and leaving her for dead during a dispute.  We captured the BB and before releasing her of her binds to us, we gave her a taste of what the electric fence was like.  There was a slight twist to all this, we were going to play out the dispute scene as it happened with each of us playing the role of those that were involved, including one of our demons “XR” playing the electric fence and approximate dialog that was spoken when it happened.  I encouraged the amusement of this scene by producing a clapboard and playing assistant director advising KP to play director and yell cut if the dialog or the scene was not right.  Of course, she only yelled cut after we electrocuted BB which we did do over at least two to three times.

Looking at the scene described above, you can tell that it is very imaginative.  This scene, however, was done with the consent of BB with preparation as well as coordination of what was going to be done via IMs and/or OOC chatter.  I would say that the scene, including preparation, took about an hour or two.  The scene was played so well, that BB thanked us for the great role play.

Many may think that defeat is equal to humiliation.  You can, however, turn that feeling around and make it work for you.  A well played defeat, with planning and coordination from all players involved,  can be just as enjoyable and rewarding as a victory.  It can turn into a collaborative spark of creativity.  It’s not about winning or losing; it’s all about how you play the game.

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Comments
  1. […] Read the rest here: The Art of Defeat […]

  2. Vere Messerchmitt says:

    To be entirely fair, I think people often put RP limitations in their profile specifically to ward off the OPPOSITE extreme of player- those being people who will either refuse to discuss an upcoming roleplay with someone in order to assure all is consensual, or, when they do, pretty much want everything their way.

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